New Year, New Look – New Packaging for The Parcel

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For Parse & Parcel, 2016 was a year filled with inspiration, experimentation, collaboration – and change.

We hosted three events in the sample studio, complete with three large-scale paper installations. Added a new intern to our team. We traveled back and forth to NYC, first to judge the Louie Awards, then later for the National Stationery Show. Connected with design and paper peeps in Atlanta for How Design Live. We got to be a sponsor for AIGA’s Get Out the Vote campaign. We revamped the delivery for our flagship product, The Parcel – shipping four times a year (winter, spring, summer, fall). Learned all about digital metallic inks, tried our hands at letterpress and wrote articles for some of our fave online, and print, publications.

You would think this would be enough to do for one year but not quite…

NSS Class of 70 Trading Card Promotion

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I started collecting stationery as a kid in the 70’s. Back then the selection of available stationery was not nearly what it is today. I had a shoe box full of paper ephemera, most of it featuring the likes of Betsey Clark and Suzie Angel. I had no idea what went into producing these gems, I just knew I liked the cute characters and colors they featured. Fast forward forty years to the 2016 National Stationery Show and I found myself lucky enough to be a part of the NSS Class of 70 trading card promotion by Legion Paper – and I loved every single minute of it!

Foil Stamp Thank You Notes

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. I’m a sucker for a nice looking foil stamp. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about that shimmer that gets me every time. It’s kind of like in high school when you find out the boy you’ve been crushing on is going to ask you out. It’s just so fun and exciting. Well, I get the same fluttery feeling every time I see the sheen of a foil stamp. I know something special is in store. And that’s exactly the feeling we wanted to share with our latest subscriber exclusive – foil stamp thank you notes!

The Secret to Producing Memorable Print

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Most people think great design is the key to producing amazing print.

Great design is only half the battle. In my opinion, the reason many print projects fail isn’t because of the design. It’s because of a lack of detail.

Designers who are known for creating amazing print design, are involved in every aspect of the process – from concept through to production. And that includes specifying and sometimes even sourcing the paper.

For some of you, this may seem like a no brainer. But I’d ask you, how often are you settling for the printer’s house sheet on your work? Be honest. When was the last time you actually had work produced on the paper you envisioned using and specified for the job?

You can blame it on a lack of budget, availability issues, or a tight deadline. Those are just excuses. Every print project faces those same challenges.

The truly memorable, award winning work excels not in spite of, but because of those challenges.

Down the Rabbit Hole with Anna Bond

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I’m so excited to introduce Sarah Schwartz, the founding editor of Stationery Trends, an award-winning trade quarterly magazine devoted to all things paper! I met Sarah earlier this summer at The Strathmore Archives event we hosted in Cleveland. In addition to being a global trend expert and speaker in the stationery industry, Sarah shares resources and insights in her fab side project The Paper Chronicles. Sarah recently featured the work of one of my faves, Anna Bond of Rifle Paper, chock full of stunning illustration and print techniques I know you’ll all love – so let’s go down the rabbit hole with Anna Bond and Sarah! 

MailChimp Playing Cards

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When I first started email marketing for my previous employer,  we had three e-newsletters we published regularly. Given that our audience was made up largely of commercial printers, we’d get some flack about using email to distribute the content (it was 2008 and anything digital was seen as the enemy). Some customers were constantly complaining about it.  The worst part though was the email marketing solution we used – it was painful. I knew when I started Parse & Parcel I’d still use email (in addition to the USPS) to communicate content and share with our audience, but I couldn’t wait to find a better email marketing solution.  I chose MailChimp because it offered a ton of features. After sending my first email I was smitten, I even convinced my former employer to give it a try. Now I’ve fallen in love with MailChimp all over again, this time for their beautiful use of my favorite media – print!  In collaboration with Fuzzco and Theory11, they’ve gone and created some stunning MailChimp Playing Cards.  

The Proof is in the Paper

 

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It’s not every day that you see this kind of collateral for a tea company. Then again, after reading Dilmah’s story, this is not just any ole bag of tea. The Teamaker’s Private Reserve collection consists of a selection of rare, fine teas personally selected by the company’s founder – talk about hands on involvement. Each one is carefully chosen and meant to present the indulgent pleasure of tea. So it stands to reason the same care and thought would go into the design and production of its catalog targeting exclusive, high-end restaurants and hotels. The team at Manic Design crafted a truly luxury experience for these buyers demonstrating the importance of what lies within before even reading a word – the proof is in the paper.

A Sucker for Great Packaging

bing-bang-parse-parcelIt’s no secret I’m a sucker for great packaging. If you follow Parse & Parcel on social media at all, you know how deep my affection for well crafted packaging design runs. While this obsession might seem natural for those who live and breathe design all day, there’s actually some science behind it. Numerous studies on haptic design (see no. 4) show that simply touching an object increases our perception of ownership over that object. That explains my collection of luxury packaging boxes. After seeing the recent rebranding project for Bing Bang NYC Jewelry, I see my box collection growing.

Print Inspiration: Oddds – The New Anthropology

Oddds-New-Anthropology-parse-parcelSingapore-based design and branding company Oddds recently completed a new project—rebranding themselves—in what they call “The New Anthropology.” Drawing from studies of humanity, culture, and design, Oddds has taken typography and iconography to a whole new level. The whole project is influenced by elements of mysticism and illusion; inspirations like the sea speak to the company’s clean aesthetic.

Edge Painting is the New Black

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Edge painting, edge coloring, colored edges – whatever you call it, is the hottest trend in business card design. The process is not new by any means, but it’s definitely getting a lot of exposure these days and with good reason – it makes a huge impact. When using engraving ink for this process you can expect a shimmery edge on metallics or a flat, matte effect on colored edges. For the uber-shiny look metallic foil edges are the way to go. Double the wow-factor when combining with other special print techniques like letterpress or embossing.